Sunday, August 16, 2009

More Trouble in the State of Jones-New York Times Book Review

The New York Times has joined the chorus of questions about State of Jones. In his review, the CUNY history professor David Reynolds echoed many of the weaknesses in the book.

He mentions the lack of evidence for the authors' assertions. Reynolds writes, "The dearth of dependable primary evidence about Knight forces Jenkins and Stauffer to rely often on conjecture." He discusses the frequent use of the words and phrases like "perhaps" and "it is possible." Reynolds makes specific reference to the authors' assertions about Knight's alleged involvement in the battle of Vicksburg despite a lack of clear evidence of him having been there.

The historian also delineates other weaknesses like the lack of direct evidence of Knight's anti-slavery views at the start of the war and the lack of proof for Knight's relationship with Rachel, his alleged lover.

This additional critique of State of Jones further weakens the book's credibility.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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